Plas History & The Celebrities of Yesteryear
‘Come & Create Your History Here At The Plas’
Step back in time to a bygone era and be greeted by the gentle flicker of candlelight…
This is your ‘Home away from Home’ from the moment you arrive right up until it’s time to leave – where complete rest and relaxation are guaranteed…Immerse yourself in the historic – yet relaxed charm, combined by a certain ‘bon viveur’ that is the epitome of 5 * Country House Living – The epitome of Plas Tan-Yr-Allt Historic Country House.
With strong literary and creative connections audaciously perched high on a hillside nestling among some 40 acres of ancient woodlands. Long lensed views draw the eye over the Glaslyn Estuary towards the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Steam Railways, plantagenet Harlech Castle, Irish sea and majestic ‘Rhinogydd’ mountains beyond.
This ‘hidden gem’ is approached by a slow climbing drive where formerly stagecoaches and horses once hurried, bowered by a canopy of whispering trees, crossing the ‘rough and tumble’ of a cascading waterfall. At dusk the stage is set as flame effect batons come alive lighting the way for the evenings ‘son et lumière’. Whilst thousands of enchanted laser lights flicker and dance whimsically à la ‘Queen Mab’ & ‘Tylwyth Teg yn y Coed’ style amongst the shadows and nocturnal chatterings.
The Plas as its affectionately known by its current owners, and those in the ‘know’, was the first Regency Villa in North Wales built in the Italian style by the esteemed philanthropist and entrepreneur William Alexander Madocks. His vantage point ‘spectaculaire’ to observe his newly constructed Cob (sea wall) the then gateway to the areas mountain quarries and bustling international port of Porth Madoc (Madocks Port / Porthmadog) and Tre Madoc (Madocks Town / Tremadog) with its aptly named London and Dublin Streets respectively. All designed and built in typical Madocks style – the ‘borough’ architecture very much thought out and in the latest ‘rigueur du jour’.
James Spooner who designed the Ffestiniog Railway for Madocks lived at The Plas from 1818-1829. With the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways just 10 minutes from the house – guests are able to marvel at the diesel and steam locomotives criss-crossing the embankment all year round. Hear the cacophonous blast of the steam whistle and when carried on the sea breeze the iconic smell of coal fire and hot oil as they go about their business. If you’re very lucky you might even catch a glimpse of ‘Merddin Emrys’, ‘David Lloyd George’ or ‘Palmerston’ as they trundle their way across the Cob ‘Boston Lodge’ or ‘Port’ bound!
Captivated by the idyllic of all settings the 18th century literary superstar, romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley completed first epic poem Queen Mab ‘All things are recreated‘. Its subject was nothing less than ‘the past, the present and the future’.The radical young poet lived here at The Plas from 1812-1813 when he was just twenty. Other poems he was engaged in here were ‘Henry and Louisa’ and Zeinab and Kathema’. The former a tale of wars and battles, the latter a Circassian romance.On the night of nights 26th February 1813, when the sea roared and the wind soughed through the trees, Shelley was attacked by an armed ruffian. Poet and ruffian shot at one another with pistols: so,at any rate, said the poet. Who the ruffian was it has never been discovered? The supposed ‘assassination’ attempt took place, in what is now the ‘Drawing Room’, forcing a traumatised Shelley and his entourage to flee to Ireland the following day never to return.Can you unearth the mystery of who shot Shelley and find the ‘bullet holes’ left in the wainscot..?
Percy later went on to marry Mary Shelley the creator of ‘Frankenstein’.Some writers have even suggested that the ‘apparition’ he saw during that fateful February night, known as ‘Shelley’s Ghost‘, was the impetus behind Mary Shelley’s most infamous creation…